There are many excuses people use for not exercising, and if your lifestyle is sedentary, the prospect of formulating and sticking to a fitness regimen can be daunting and coming up with excuses for not exercising, easy.
This can be the case even if you really want and need to work out to lose weight and improve your health.
You may be busy and think you won’t be able to fit exercise into your day, but if you have enough free time to watch your favorite television shows, you have time to exercise, even if you have to do both at the same time.
If you’re not naturally athletic, you may be under the impression that you don’t like exercising, without even having tried it. Possibly you fear failure, so keep putting off starting.
Chances are you’ve come up with one, or more, of the following excuses people use for not exercising. Keep reading to find out the top 10 excuses people use for not exercising and how to address them.
Excuses People Use for Not Exercising
1) I don’t have time to work out
The most common of all excuses people use for not exercising is a lack of time. Between work and family commitments, most of us are busy. Each of us has 24 hours in a day, but the ways we choose to use them differ.
If you aren’t making time for exercise, you aren’t making time for yourself and your wellbeing. If you spend half an hour a day working out, that is only slightly more than 2% of every 24 hours.
Medical and fitness experts are now of the opinion that short bursts of exercise are as effective as longer sessions. When running errands, don’t drive if you can walk to your destination in 15 minutes or less. It won’t add a lot of extra time to your outing. And, you will be saving gas money and doing your bit for the environment!
Get up 15 minutes earlier and use the time to do a HIIT workout. The energy gained from this will more than compensate for losing 15 minutes of sleep.
Try to work out for at least a half an hour, four or five times a week. If you don’t have one block of 30 minutes spare, you will still benefit from doing two or three shorter workouts that add up to 30 minutes in total.
Lift weights, jog on the spot, jump rope, or use an exercise machine while watching TV. The time will pass faster, and you will be killing two birds with one stone. If you don’t watch TV, read or chat on the phone with a friend while doing a treadmill or elliptical workout.
2) I can never stick to anything
Another of the excuses people use for not exercising is that they’ve failed in the past so don’t think they can stick to working out. Following are some common reasons for failure, and how to overcome them.
- Did you neglect to set a schedule?
Having a plan to work to will help to mentally prepare you and make it easier to stick to a fitness regimen.
- Did you dislike the workout you chose to do?
Some people like exercise, period. For others, there may only be one exercise they enjoy. Keep looking. You will find yours.
- Was your gym on the other side of town?
If you joined a gym that was miles away, you might have often come up with excuses not to go. Inclement weather, too much traffic, car troubles – – – and the list goes on. Work out at home, and these excuses will disappear.
- Did you keep your workout goals to yourself?
Sharing your fitness goals with your family and friends can help to keep you accountable. They may even want to join you, which will make working out more fun.
- Were your goals unrealistic?
You won’t get fit overnight. It will probably be hard going at first. Give it time, and set short-term goals you can meet.
3) I have family commitments
Another excuse people use for not exercising is family responsibilities and running a household. Many of us are in this situation, and it can be difficult to make the time to exercise. Working out is still possible, however.
If your child or children are young, either ask your partner to keep an eye on them while you work out, or take them along with you in a jogging stroller when walking, jogging, or running.
If you regularly take your kids to ballet class, karate class and the like, rather than sitting around waiting for them to finish, pack your running shoes and walk or run around the neighborhood.
4) Exercising makes me tired
If you’re not accustomed to working out, you will initially find it tiring. Things will get better though. Regular physical activity promotes energy and will, over time, result in you having far more energy than you did when you were inactive. Exercise will also help you to sleep more soundly and feel better in general.
By gradually building the pace and length of your workouts you won’t exhaust yourself, and you will be less likely to incur an injury, both things that could cause you to give up.
To further decrease the likelihood of becoming tired, get sufficient sleep and drink plenty of water. It’s also helpful to experiment with exercising at different times of the day to find what suits you best.
5) I always fail
Fear of failure is another excuse for not exercising. If you’ve attempted to lose weight and get fit and given up because it was too hard or because you didn’t reach your goal quickly enough, don’t be discouraged.
You may not see an immediate dramatic drop on the scale, and you won’t tone up overnight, but regular exercise will quickly make you feel more energetic and confident. And, over time, you will look better.
Remember that every time you work out, you reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease, among other health issues. Keep this in mind as you embark on your next fitness journey. Stick with it, and the results you’re looking for will come.
6) Getting fit is expensive
A lack of money is one of the most invalid excuses people use for not exercising. You won’t need to join a gym or buy expensive exercise equipment to get into shape if you don’t want to.
There are a few essential items, but the monetary outlay will be minimal. To walk or run, all you will need is a supportive pair of sports shoes and comfortable clothing. You may also want to buy some fitness books or exercise DVDs so you can work out at home. Resistance bands are another efficient and inexpensive workout option.
Cans of food can be used in place of weights, or plastic juice containers filled with sand. If you work or live in an apartment building, or if your house has two levels, incorporate stair climbing into your fitness routine.
If you don’t want to spend any money, search on YouTube, Google “bodyweight exercises“, or click this link to read about how to get fit on a budget.
7) I lack motivation
Many people use a lack of motivation as an excuse for not exercising, and this certainly can be a barrier to achieving fitness goals. Even if you know that you need to exercise more, and you want to enjoy the benefits exercise brings, it can be hard to get up, get dressed, and get moving.
There are a few ways to increase your chance of sticking with a workout plan. First, make a regular schedule. It’s easier to form an exercise habit if you work out at the same time and on the same days each week.
Next, you need a goal. Seeing the progress you make along the way will motivate you to persevere. Just be sure the goal you set is doable. If it isn’t, there’s the risk of pushing yourself to the point of injury or giving up because it’s taking too long to reach your goal.
If you’re aiming to run 3 miles, start with the intention of running for 5 minutes without stopping, then increase this to 10 minutes, and so on. Whenever you reach a milestone, you will be encouraged to keep going.
It’s also helpful to share your fitness aims with people who will help you to stay on track. For example, ask your partner to be tough on you if you come up with a feeble excuse to skip your workout. Joining a fitness forum is another great way to stay motivated. The other members will encourage you, and a little healthy competition never goes astray. Reading the success stories of others can also be inspiring.
8) I hate Exercise!
People who find working out difficult or tiresome may have to force themselves to do it. Others have the preconceived idea that they won’t enjoy exercising without even having tried it.
You may need to try a few different types of exercise before finding one that you like. When you do find it, don’t try to do too much too soon and burn out or injure yourself. If you can find two or more types of exercise you enjoy doing, that’s even better. Alternating activities is an excellent way to grow your fitness and keep things interesting.
Compile a playlist of up-tempo songs that motivate you. This really can make a big difference on those days you don’t feel like exercising.
Ask friends or family members to join you on your fitness journey. Exercising with friends or family makes even tough workouts more enjoyable and less of a chore, and it will enable you to spend quality time with loved ones and catch up on the day’s events.
If all else fails, think about how you feel after finishing your workout. You might not like the feeling during the workout, but afterward, you will bask in the satisfaction of knowing you’ve completed your workout for the day!
9) I’m embarrassed to work out in public
Another of the excuses people use for not exercising is that they are too self-conscious to exercise in front of others. This can be a significant barrier to overcome.
If you’re overweight, you might wonder what people will think when they see you running slowly or perspiring profusely. We all have these insecurities. Keep in mind that everyone was a newbie at one point and that you will be doing something to improve your health and physical appearance. Anyone who understands fitness will know the positives of exercise and will admire what you’re doing. You may even inspire someone else to do the same.
If you are really uncomfortable with working out in public, there are ways around this. You can exercise at home until your fitness and confidence improve. Another option is to walk or run in an area where there’s no chance you will bump into someone you know, or go to the gym at quiet times of the day or night. You don’t need to wear lycra, either. Comfortable clothing that allows freedom of movement will do just fine.
Remember, by exercising you will be doing a wonderful thing for your body and your mind. Don’t let insecurity stop you from starting. The more you exercise, the more confident you will become.
10) Life Always Gets in the Way
The truth is that, no matter how determined you are and how well you plan your days around exercise, life can sometimes get in the way. There will always be meals to cook, clothes to wash, and housework to do.
Heavy rain could stop you from running, an injury may force you to skip the gym, or a family crisis could mean that exercise is the last thing on your mind. Some of these are valid reasons for skipping your workout, but none of them are excuses to give up entirely.
If life is tough for you right now, working out will give you a boost. Numerous studies have shown that exercise can relieve stress and help to combat anxiety and depression.
10 Excuses People Use for Not Exercising Summary
The bottom line is that all of us should make exercise a priority, so don’t let these 10 excuses people use for not exercising stop you from improving your health and fitness. Life will get in the way, but so will your health if you lead a sedentary lifestyle.
You may find it hard to stick to a fitness program at first, but once exercise becomes a habit, and you see and feel the benefits, you will be hooked. Make a commitment to start your fitness journey today!